Stop Time – A poem from Sheila Black on National Poetry Day UK

MarcyAveSheilasmOct 3rd is  National Poetry Day here in the UK and to celebrate I’d like to share one of my favourite poems by my good friend Sheila Black from her Orphic Prize nominated collection Wen Kroy. Wen Kroy was written as part of the collaboration Nostalgia/Analgesic with visual artist Michele Marcoux (that’s me) and sound artist Lynne Thermann will be featured as part of our upcoming exhibition Blood/MarcyAV opening at The Old Ambulance Depot,In Edinburgh 7-9.30pm on 31st October. the exhibition will be up from 1st Nov – 3rd Nov 10.30 – 5pm

Stop Time

And still the liquid moment spilling over cuffs, staining crook of knees and elbows.  To use so thoroughly marks would be left.  Extra-credit for desultory beauty?  Or so we tended to think.  Dumpster-smells and foil-shined floors.  The crusted window or musty lock.  A window falls and the hook turns.  Savor of

regret like expensive wine.  Kim died and left a scrawled note in Lynn’s book.  Purer to me than any poem. Beautiful Lorraine so often addled and/or bitter.  I spread out the puzzle pieces  and arrange them by color.  I

don’t care about the final picture.  Little patch of sky.  Small moan of smaller.  How to get through the day without some minor chemical infusion?   We don’t remember when we last neglected to “watch ourselves.”  And still the liquid moment


spilling over cuffs,


“to use so thoroughly  marks are left.”


“bone-shine/ shiver,”


eleven mile island,  hanging garden

map of what we wished


& didn’t get

& what we did.


– Sheila Black, Wen Kroy 2012





Sheila Black is the author of two poetry collections House of Bone and Love/Iraq(both CW Press). She recently co-edited, with poets Jennifer Bartlett and Mike Northen,Beauty is a VerbThe New Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos Press, September 2011), which was named a Notable Book for 2012 by the American Library Association. A third collection Wen Kroy is forthcoming from Dream Horse Press. She is a 2012 Witter Bynner Fellow in Poetry, selected by Philip Levine. She lives in San Antonio, Texas where she directs Gemini Ink, a literary arts center.








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